Dave Redmann , Oct 18, 2009; 11:47 p.m.
In most (maybe all) cases, you can get better B&W pictures by taking color pictures and turning them to B&W in the digital darkroom, than you can by using a B&W mode on the camera. Therefore, I would not choose a DSLR based on some supposed advantage with its built-in B&W options. I would just get the DSLR that seems best to you, given your existing lens collection (if any), uses (about which we know nothing), and budget (is the $1k just for the body, or do you expect to get one or more lenses with that?).
There are a ton of threads (mostly in the Digital Darkroom forum) about techniques and specialized software for converting color to B&W. Indeed, there are whole books on the subject. And of course how you print is a significant issue too.